The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

November 27, 2007

Gee, I hope that wasn’t too much work for you…

Filed under: Food — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 11:37 pm

Somehow, I doubt that this actually took a whole lot of handcrafting. 

November 23, 2007

Midnight Madness at the Mall

Filed under: Malls — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 3:09 am

As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to go check out the Midnight opening over at the Alderwood Mall.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had that idea:

Oh come on, you didn’t need any personal space anyway, right?

 Granted, it was only the main hallways that were this packed, but it was enough to make it nearly impossible to get anywhere.  Needless to say, I didn’t exactly get a whole lot of shopping done.  I think it’s time to seriously consider doing my shopping online this year.

November 22, 2007

Guess where I’m not shopping tomorrow morning?

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 10:18 pm

On the way home from our family Thanksgiving gathering this evening, I thought I’d swing by the local Best Buy to see just how the local bargain hunter population is holding out.  Here’s what I saw:

Just a bit before 8:30pm, and there’s already 30 people in line.  Incidentally, let’s take a closer look at the dash, shall we?

Um, yeah.  As nice as a cheap HDTV or laptop might sound, I’d kind of like to keep all my toes, thank you very much.  One of the local malls is actually going to be opening at 12:01am tonight to get a jump on the Holiday shopping season, and I was giving some thought to heading over to see just how crazy it turns out.  Stay tuned…

November 16, 2007

Malls of the Seattle Area: A Tour of the Factoria Mall

Filed under: Bellevue, Malls — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 3:16 am

Update 9/28/08:  Work is (slowly) beginning on the redevelopment project here.  A new update on the current status of this mall and its tenants has just been posted here.  Also see this post for the previous update on the redevelopment project.

NOTE: This is the second in a series of posts that wll eventually profile most of the major malls in the greater Seattle area.  For those of you who might have missed it, the first post in this series covering the Totem Lake Mall in Kirkland can be found here.

In some ways, the Factoria Mall is quite smilar to the Totem Lake Mall, which was profiled previously on this Blog.  Both were built around the same time, and are relatively small in comparison to most of the other malls in the area.  Both are located in neighborhoods that became increasingly affluent with the rise of the technology industry in the area.  In spite of this, these malls have failed to keep up with the times.  In the case of the Totem Lake Mall, the loss of major tenants has left only a handful of stores operating in the lower part of the mall, and the enclosed mall portion all but abandoned.  The Factoria Mall has also faced the loss of major tenants, with their Gottschalk’s store (another former Lamonts) closing in 2005, and the Mervyn’s closing shortly afterward when the company left the Pacific Northwest.  On the other hand, the Factoria Mall still has a number of major tenants, and has managed to retain a critical mass of customers to keep it viable, if not thriving.  Also like the Totem Lake Mall, there are plans in the works for a major overhaul, although from the plans posted in the mall it would appear to be far less drastic than that planned for Totem Lake.  After the jump, a tour of the Factoria Mall as it stands today.


November 14, 2007

Insomnia? What insomnia?

Filed under: Moblogging, Wanderings — Brian Lutz @ 2:01 am

(Written partially from the local Denny’s at 11PM)

Anyone who knows me is probably well aware of the fact that I’m a bit of a night owl (It’s not that I’m not a morning person, it’s just that I happen to prefer a different part of the morning than most people so inclined.) Along with this comes the occasional tendency to look up at the clock, realize it’s 10PM and suddenly remember that I haven’t eaten anything of substance since breakfast. Usually this means looking through the cupboard and the fridge, realizing that anything which sounds , and heading out to find whatever happens to be open still.

The relative lack of decent places to eat late around here doesn’t help the situation any. Beyond the usual fast food joints and chains, about the only decent place to grab a bite around here after 9PM is the Burgermaster in Bellevue. It does tend to be a bit on the expensive side for a burger joint, but as a drive-in it does have the advantage of being pajama-friendly (although I’m not particularly inclined to actually try it, even if only a couple of carhops will see it) and open until Midnight on weekdays, 1AM on weekends.  On the other hand, if you don’t want a burger or fast food, you aren’t left with a lot of options. 

 It is in this situation that I find myself at Denny’s.  Even here, a reduced menu is served after 10pm, which leads to such austerities as a lack of mashed potatoes to accompany a Country Fried Steak.  If I ate one of the things more than once in a blue moon this would probably bug me, but my mother taught me to eat what is put in front of me, and besides, it’s either this or the drive-thru line at Taco Bell.  Judging from the number of people here, it seems like I’m not the only one.  Maybe someday I’ll learn to actually follow a normal schedul and have a few more dining options…

November 8, 2007

Wandering in Old Bellevue

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 1:50 pm

With the rapid growth of Downtown Bellevue, I’m not even sure if most people even know there is
an Old Bellevue anymore. In the heart (well, actually a bit south) of the ever expanding collection of skyscrapers is the type of downtown some cities wish they could have. For as long as I have lived here, and for as often as I seem to end up in Bellevue, I’m actually a bit surprised that I have never ended up here at some point. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’d want to try to park here, so there’s probably a reason for that.

While wandering around here, I happened to run into the Porcella Urban Market, a place I once saw recommended on Chowhound. I ended up having lunch there and mostly found it expensive, although the food was pretty good (More on that later.)

Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that I can post pictures here while mobile, so I will make a post with those later, wheb I get back to civilization (or back to a desktop PC. anyway.)

Marooned in Bellevue

Filed under: Bellevue, Mobile, Wanderings — Brian Lutz @ 12:38 pm

Today my car is at the dealer getting a couple of minor issues looked at. Rather than sit around at home all day, I decided to get dropped off in downtown Bellevue so I could wander around for a while. It turns out I can blog from my PPC, although the functionality is limited (and this keyboard is a bit of a pain to do too much typing on.) It appears I will have some time on my hands today, so I’ll post if I see anything interesting.

November 7, 2007

Influential Technology – The Greatest Technlogical Influences in My Life

Filed under: Technology — Brian Lutz @ 2:37 am

Over at Daily Pundit (via Instapundit,) Bill Quick has made an interesting post about some of the changes that technology (among other things) has made to his life, followed by a number of interesting comments on the subject.  This got me to thinking about the influence that technology has had on my life, and rather than make a list of the ways technology has affected my life (I’m pretty sure all of my responses to the question would be covered by someone else by now) I thought I’d approach this question from a different angle, and make a list of some of the technology that has had the greatest influence on where I have ended up today.  With no further ado, and in no particular order, I present this list after the jump.


November 6, 2007

An Open Letter to Any Bigshot Hollywood Execs Who Happen to Read this Blog

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , — Brian Lutz @ 11:25 am

November 6, 2007

 To whom it may concern,

According to the latest news, it sounds like Writers Guild of America has gone on strike again.  Aside from the fact that labor disputes such as this one tend to require all sorts of messy negotiations to work out, the reports coming out of Hollywood indicate that you have more immediate problems to deal with.  You may be coming to the realization that those comedians you’re paying big bucks to host your late night talkshows have forgotten how to be funny without someone feeding their jokes to them.  If this strike lasts too long, you might find it necessary to tap into your strategic rerun reserves far earlier in the season than you had originally anticipated.  Above all this is the looming threat that it may be necessary to fill even more of your primetime lineups with reality shows.  Should the day ever come when it becomes necessary to give the banker from Deal or No Dealhis own spinoff in order to fill up a timeslot, it will be a dark day indeed.

I do have to admit that I have not been a particularly diligent consumer of your product over the course of the past decade or so, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  As such, I wish to offer my services to any studio who needs material written in a hurry, with none of that pesky Union stuff to deal with.  There is, however, one catch:  I don’t make any guarantees of the quality of my work.  In fact, it is quite likely that if any Hollywood studio were to use any scripts that I write, the results would be nothing short of a train wreck.  In fact, I’d probably add a few gratuitous train wrecks just for fun (your special effects people are still on the job, right?)  If you want, you could send over a few DVDs, and I’d at least watch then, although I’d probably end up fast-forwarding the boring parts. I’d also make an effort to reuse some of the existing characters.  I might even make an attempt to follow some of the existing plotlines wherever it might be convenient, but I don’t make any guarantees on that one.

I am fully aware that with even these precautionary measures, there is still a good chance that I’d manage to make a big mess out of the canon and continuity of any series I ended up working on, but once you get your real writers back on the job, they should be able to clean it all up with one plot hole or another (you might refer them to the eighth season of Dallasfor some ideas on how to deal with this.)  I also realize that even in a difficult situation such as this one you might be somewhat hesitant to entrust the writing of a primetime television series or big-budget blockbuster to some random blogger, so I understand completely if you do not take this offer seriously.  I just ask that you keep this in mind in a few months when you find yourself re-rerunning reruns and trying to hype up Survivor: Rent Controlled Brooklyn Apartment.  I’d say you can have your people call my people, but last time I checked I don’t currently have any people, so just send an e-mail or something.  I’m pretty sure I couldn’t be any worse than the alternatives…



November 3, 2007

Highlights from the 2007 Seattle Auto Show

Filed under: Cars, Seattle and Vicinity — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 12:43 am


Compared to the big auto shows such as the ones in LA, New York and Detroit, the annual Seattle Auto Show is nothing to write home about.  Sure, it does give you a chance to check out all sorts of new cars without the pressure of some salesman breathing down your neck, as well as an opportunity to see all the luxury and exotic cars that would melt your bank account if you wandered too close to the showroom, but aside from a smattering of leftover concpets from the Detroit show earlier in the year, there’s not much else to see beside the stuff that’s already been on the dealer lots for months now.  Nonetheless, every year I  make the trip into downtown Seattle to check out the show.  Usually I go to the show with my younger brother, but since he now lives 900 miles away (and sells Lexuses, which gives him an opportunity to actually drive some of the nicer cars you might see here,) I’m on my own this time around.   Also this year, for the first time in… well, ever, I am not driving a way-past-its-prime rustbucket that was in dire need of replacement years ago.  This meant that rather than going through everything with the proverbial fine tooth comb, this year I could just skip right to the interesting stuff.  After the jump, some of the highlights from this year’s show, complete with a lot of pictures.


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